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Mar., 2016

Vistar Business Monitor

The recent remarks of President Hassan Rouhani in Yazd confirmed that our analysis was reliable. It was clear that the president was awaiting the public’s vote to use official media, traditionally controlled by ultraconservatives, to criticize the conservative policies which have made citizens unhappy and to ease political and social pressure on citizens.

The vote in support of pro-reform and moderates in many cities, and particularly in Tehran, has turned to a strong political backing, which can enable the administration to maneuver in the domestic political dispute. President Rouhani had pointed to the JCPOA II a few months ago, in an attempt to use the slogan in future games.

The JCPOA II means that the domestic atmosphere is more prepared than ever for a change and that rival groups have to agree to put an end to “unnecessary tensions” – a term which seems to remain in the political literature of the president, though it was also used by him repeatedly in the past.

The challenges facing the administration to achieve the JCPOA II will be more serious than those it faced over the past couple of months to get the nuclear deal signed. Of course, President Rouhani might be supported by other figures. For instance, the votes cast by Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karoubi and Zahra Rahnavard could help the administration to put an end to a lengthy dispute between Reformist and conservative parties.

On the other hand, the role of Mohammad Reza Aref will become stronger, along with that of Ali Larijani. Meanwhile, moderate messages sent to the public by Mohammad Khatami will increase the chance for a “national reconciliation,” as the president seems to be planning to use the capacity of the “Supreme National Security Council” to issue an approval barring any ban against Mohammad Khatami.

The response of the hardline front is not yet clear to the political movements of the administration; however, attacks and pressure against various parts of the administration are likely to increase in the upcoming months. The attacks will seek to stop President Rouhani to continue with his announced policies. At the moment, Rouhani is unlikely to retreat from his “JCPOAs.”


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